When you consider getting a dog, the trainability factor is definitely something you will want to think about depending on what you intend to do with your new companion. If you love spending time with your dog and want to teach him or her to do various tricks or manoeuvres then you will want to think about choosing a breed of dog that is easy to train and has the willingness to learn and please. We’ve put together a top 10 list of the easiest dog breeds to train. It’s no wonder why you will see many of these breeds working with us humans in many different fields including the police force, search and rescue, sheep herding and much more.
1. Border Collie
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Bred for herding livestock, especially sheep, the Border Collie comes from the Anglo-Scottish border. The Border Collie ranked number one in Stanley Coren‘s The Intelligence of Dogs, and in January 2011, a Border Collie was reported to have learned 1,022 words, and acts consequently to human citation of those words. The Border Collie is a very energetic, smart and athletic breed of dog which you will often see competing in dog sports and sheepdog trials. Often named the most intelligent breed of dog, it’s no wonder why we put this breed at the top of our list.
2. Labrador Retriever
In second place is the Labrador, a breed very close to our hearts (if you didn’t know that already!) The Labrador is an even-tempered, athletic and playful gun dog breed that is great for families with young children or elderly people. This breed is a favourite for assistance and is frequently trained to help blind and autistic people as well as perform screening and detection work for law enforcement. The Labrador is the most popular breed by registered ownership in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States.
3. Golden Retriever
Photo Credit: Mary Bomford
Right behind the Labrador we have the beautiful Golden Retriever. The Golden Retrievers’ intelligence makes them versatile, allowing them to fill a variety of roles, including guide dog for the blind, hearing dog for the deaf, hunting dog, drug detector, and search and rescue participant. Due to their loyal and gentle temperament, Golden Retrievers make excellent family pets.
4. German Shepherd
In fourth is the German Shepherd, another working dog that was developed originally for guarding and herding sheep. Due to their strength, intelligence and easiness to train, the German Shepherd is now one of the most preferred breeds for many types of work including search and rescue, police work and military roles.
5. Doberman Pinscher
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Doberman Pinschers are well known as an intelligent, alert, and loyal companion dog. Once used as guard dogs, this is much less common today.
6. Australian Cattle Dog
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The Australian Cattle Dog has a high level of energy and quick intelligence, just like dogs from other working breeds. They respond well to structured training, particularly if it is interesting and challenging. The Australian Cattle Dog was originally bred to herd by biting, and is known to nip running children. They form strong attachment to their owners and can be protective of them and their possessions. This breed may not be ideal for families with young children.
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The Poodle is another one of the brightest and most intelligent dog breeds and according to Stanley Coren‘s The Intelligence of Dogs, the Poodle is the second most intelligent breed of dog after the Border Collie. Poodles are in the “Brightest Dogs” group, and dogs in this group can understand new commands within 5 repetitions and obey first commands 95% or better. The Poodle is also an attentive, eager to please and responsive dog. They are very skilled at reading our body language, making them appear as telepathic.
Photo Credit: Costin Fetic
The Rottweiler was originally used to herd livestock and pull carts loaded with butchered meat and other products to market. While still used in herding today, due to their easiness to train and high level of intelligence, Rottweilers are now also used as search and rescue dogs, as guide dogs for the blind, as guard dogs or police dogs. Rottweilers have an inherent desire to protect home and family, and they are an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.
9. Shetland Sheepdog
Photo Credit: Claire Mitchell
The Shetland Sheepdog is vocal, excitable and an energetic dogs that is always willing to please and work hard.They are partly derived from dogs used in the Shetland Isles for herding and protecting sheep. The Shetland sheepdog is lively, intelligent, playful, trainable, and willing to please and obey. They are loving, loyal, and affectionate with their family, but are naturally aloof with strangers; for this reason Shelties must be socialised from a very early age.
Photo Credit: Hai Tuoi
In tenth place we have the Papillon. Papillons are a very intelligent and self-assured breed of dog that can be trained easily to learn new tricks.
So, there you have it, our top 10 easiest dog breeds to train. What breed of dog do you have and how easy did you find it to train? Leave us your comments below.